What’s New for Dermatology Drugs in 2017-2018

The specialty of Medical Dermatology has been in a renaissance for the last decade or so because of the development of many new injectable drugs for some common complex diseases such as Psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis, and Atopic Dermatitis, but also for some lesser known entities which we will discuss later.

Psoriasis Associated with Plaquenil (Hydroxychloroquine)

The following case studies illustrate examples where Plaquenil administration was associated with either new onset psoriasis or flaring of pre-existing psoriasis. Case 1. A middle-aged woman sought another opinion for a puzzling rash which had been seen by two dermatologists. At first, skin biopsies showed features of eczema. Subsequent biopsies …

Plaquenil Use in Autoimmune Diseases by Dermatologists and Rheumatologists

It may surprise you to learn that anti-malarial drugs are used by dermatologists and rheumatologists. But not to treat malaria! Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (commonly known by its old brand-name Plaquenil) were first used to treat malaria, but the malaria-causing organism soon became resistant to them. However, during the treatment of …

Do I Have Lupus, Doctor?

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a devastating autoimmune disease that can affect nearly every organ system in the body. The skin is no exception, and in fact, may be involved in 70-80% of cases. An equal number of patients may experience abnormal sun or ultraviolet light sensitivity, called photosensitivity. There are …

DERMATOMYOSITIS

Dermatomyositis is one of the autoimmune connective tissue diseases. The name is derived from dermato=skin, myo=muscle, and itis=inflammation. Thus, inflammation of unknown cause leads to a distinctive skin rash and weakness and tenderness of the muscles, particularly of the hip and shoulder girdles.  Dermatomyositis (DM) affects women more than men (about 2 to 1), usually …

When Should a Primary Care Doc Refer to a Dermatologist?

The answer to the question depends on the extent of training in dermatology and the individual physician’s comfort level in dealing with skin diseases.  Currently, the definition of “primary care providers” includes family practitioners, internists, pediatricians, and gynecologists, but may be expanded to include nurse practitioners.  The education of U.S. medical …